There isn't much fun in creating a robot to find Waldo for you but that didn't stop ad agency Redpepper from doing just that.
Part of the fun of the enormously famous Where's Waldo books created by English illustrator Martin Handford, is that children have to put in a little effort in to get the reward. Granted it's not much of an award, finding a skinny beanie wearing dude, but it's the challenge and perseverance that is the pay off. Well, not anymore.
Creative Technologist at Redpepper, Matt Reed, explained to The Verge how the process came about getting the robot with its mechanical arm to point out Waldo after on a couple of seconds of scanning the page. He says:
I got all of the Waldo training images from Google Image Search; 62 distinct Waldo heads and 45 Waldo heads plus body. I thought that wouldn't be enough data to build a strong model but it gives surprisingly good predictions on Waldos that weren't in the original training set.
Now if we could only understand why we need a robot to ruin all the fun.
This robot uses AI to find Waldo, thereby ruining Where’s Waldo https://t.co/iCmk8r6Dvo https://t.co/BGBL5QqMXJ— The Verge (@The Verge)1534093261.0
If you’re totally stumped on a page of Where’s Waldo and ready to file a missing persons report, you’re in luck. No… https://t.co/OnVk0ZB0vx— Massimo (@Massimo)1533882894.0
What a killjoy!
@Rainmaker1973 I bet the Inventor likes to tell you what your present is before you've unwrapped it 😉— Lea Reid (@Lea Reid)1533891034.0
@Rainmaker1973 Another step toward intellectual dumbing down. 🤦🏻♀️— PGH_GAL (@PGH_GAL)1533907455.0
@Rainmaker1973 Destroy it!!! It's killing the magic!— Cristina Saez (@Cristina Saez)1533883145.0
@Rainmaker1973 That's cheating!!!!!!— Chook☭ty-pah! (@Chook☭ty-pah!)1533883173.0
@Rainmaker1973 "You still don't get it, do you?! He'll find him! That's what he does! That's all he does! You can't… https://t.co/rw3idLeoyp— anthony (@anthony)1533903510.0
But for some folks, put anything in front of them and they'll want it.
@Rainmaker1973 Cracking up here. I want one! https://t.co/QheSYcx2xX— John P (@John P)1533909168.0
@Rainmaker1973 I need that— pJammers (@pJammers)1533907183.0
@Rainmaker1973 The world is a better place for it !— Michael Lanna (@Michael Lanna)1533883281.0
For a few Twitter users it wasn't that the robot found Waldo, but how it pointed him out that had them concerned.
@Rainmaker1973 Okay, that creepy hand didn’t have to be there— Joe Walsh, but not the Eagles guy (@Joe Walsh, but not the Eagles guy)1533883012.0
@Rainmaker1973 Honestly they could have use a better pointing finger hand.— Blender Sushi Guy (@Blender Sushi Guy)1533897813.0
@jimmygunawanapp @Rainmaker1973 It's a wee bit limp lol— John P (@John P)1533909725.0
Say good-bye to childhood fun.